Saturday, August 7, 2010

Stick it to me - Longarm Pinchushion Tutorial

Wow... so many different ideas to explore!  I am loving all the intense learning I am doing with my new HQ18, it's been such an exciting adventure so far.  I will have to say that the machine has behaved like a champ and anything that has gone wrong ( very little) has been totally operator error.. I have my 7th quilt done and will soon be taking a the leap into a bit of art-quilting!

Like most new longarmers I am feeling my way through  different techniques for racking my quilts, and while am am dabbling with alternative methods, pins will most always be around in one form or another so keeping track of them is important!   I have one of those handy wrist pincushions but that was not feeling quite right so I had been messing around with other ideas, when like all really great ideas this one came to be when I least expected it!

I had just finished making cushions for the long benches that go with our harvest table.. due to their odd size I ended up with some extra cuts of the Nufoam that were laying around my studio. One ended up sitting on the rails on Sir Lancelot and was so well placed that the idea seemed totally obvious that is would make a wonderful Longarm pincushion.  With it's dense makeup but light over all weight .. it's ability to hold it's shape but flexible nature it has proved to be perfect. 

If you would like to make one just follow along with this quick and painless tutorial.

Nu-Foam comes by the yard at most fabric stores ( find it back with the foam and the batting).. but you only need about 6 inches.. so you only need to buy 1/4 of a yard ( this is smallest size they sell the foam in a my shop).. and this will make you 2-3 of the pin cushions due to the width ( yeh.. it's ok.. make one for your longarm guild and give it so someone you like there!), you will need some tight weave fabric, thread and a needle.

 Cut your foam to a size that you feel comfortable, mine was already this size since it was as you will remember a scrap from making the bench cushions. For reference mine is 3.5 x 14 inches. Lay out a piece of really cool fabric and cut it in a way that is generous enough to wrap the foam ( if you can wrap a gift you can do this!)

Wrap it up just like a gift.. but instead of tape use a couple of pins to hold the fabric in place until you whip stitch it closed.

Treat the ends in the same way.. fold under the excess and whip stitch it closed.. easy peasy!

When in use it sets right on the rails pretty as you please.

When not being pressed in to action it sits on top of my machine with the help of two small velcro dots - simple and effective.

Now go make one! Then send me a photo and I will post it up!

Happy stitching.

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